CHIN-DICTIONARY - Brollo’s Dictionarium sinico-latinum: linguistic innovations, textual connections, and trans-cultural translation

The focus of the project CHIN-DICTIONARY is the Dictionarium sinico-latinum (Chinese-Latin dictionary) by the Franciscan missionary Basilio Brollo (1648–1704); for a long time, only manuscript copies circulated, which were highly praised as an essential instrument for the study of Chinese. The role of the dictionary was deemed so important that projects to publish it were conceived but, after these plans failed, it was plagiarised in a revised form.
The Dictionarium sinico-latinum, based on the research methods of missionary linguistics, is a lexicographical milestone with a fundamental value from a variety of perspectives. The most important aspect is that it is an unlimited source of linguistic information and an essential instrument for the interpretation of the Chinese lexicon and its periodisation.

The objectives of CHIN-DICTIONARY include:

1) creating a digitalised, searchable, and open-access version of the dictionary;
2) analysing its linguistic features;
3) defining the influence it had on later lexicographical production.

CHIN-DICTIONARY will contribute to the advancement of knowledge in different fields for two main reasons. Firstly, by integrating different approaches, such as lexicography, lexicology, and archival research according to the methodology of missionary linguistics, it will innovate the description of the Chinese language in the period considered. Secondly, through studying, textualising, and, therefore, preserving rare and precious lexicographical information, it digitalises information into searchable data, making it easier to consult.

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